An Iraqi suicide bomber instructor set off his own explosives during a training on Monday, ending the lives of himself and his pupils.
The instructor, who was teaching a class at a camp in the Sunni region of the country, north of Baghdad, accidently detonated his bomb, killing 21 other would-be suicide bombers. The casualties were part of a group formerly linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
The ironic incident is a brief moment of respite for many Iraqis who have been forced to ensure years of violence and killing in the country; in 2013, nearly 9,000 people were killed. Thus far, 2014 has not been anymore hopeful; roughly 1,000 Iraqis were killed last month. Meanwhile, suicide bombers have made themselves an ever present menace in Iraqi civilian life, relentlessly targeting markets, mosques, sporting events and funerals.
Liquor storekeeper Raad Hashim said that he was tremendously relieved by the death of the 22 men, who almost certainly would have ended the lives of dozens of innocent Iraqis and Syrians.
"What happened today was not death, but it was life to us," Hashim told The New York Times. "Those 22 who were killed today might have killed hundreds of Iraqis, hundreds of innocent souls. May they burn in hell."
Although he initially burst out laughing at the news, Hashim suggested that the suicide bombers' onslaught of violence has devestated the country.
"This is so funny. It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs," he said, before acknowledging that the accident also gave him "pain, as I remember all the innocent people that were killed here."
Hashim interpreted the suicide bomber's act as one that had been God-inspired.
"This is God showing justice. This is God sending a message to the bad people and the criminals in the world, to tell them to stop the injustice and to bring peace. Evil will not win in the end. It's always life that wins over death," said Hashim.